Today, we are talking about three simple re-purposing and de-cluttering tips – part two of “My Easy Three” things to start your January off on a great start. Part one here focused on cleaning.

Recycle Greeting Cards – of all kinds

I recently went through all my stationary, everything from note cards, stationary, old Christmas cards and even Christmas cards I have received recently.  Did you know St. Jude’s Ranch for Children will accept all-occasion greeting cards, year-round?  The program recycles the cards to create new ones.  The proceeds from the sales of the new cards help to support programs and services for abused, neglected and homeless children, young adults and families.  Read more about how to send in your cards and stationary here.

Clear out your inbox, unsubscribe/Install the free phone app Hiya

The first of each month I go through my inbox and delete old emails — especially from all the retailers.  I will subscribe to a retailer to receive a coupon, or you’re added to their list when you make a purchase, but then they keep sending emails — sometimes daily.  Retail emails fill most of my box more than personal emails.  If you go through and unsubscribe to most everything on a regular basis, eventually you start to see your inbox getting smaller.

Six months ago I added the free app Hiya on my phone.  Hiya identifies the calls you want to pick up and automatically blocks the ones you want to avoid.  For example, I kept getting repeated calls from numbers I didn’t recognize.  Once I put Hiya on my phone, the calls reduced dramatically because Hiya recognized the source as solicitation or fraud.  You can click on the number to see where it originated from and Hiya provides a report of the type of call it detected — in my case Fraud Income Tax Collectors — with feedback from customers who answered the call.  Hiya then blocks the call.  Now I no longer receive all the annoying solicitations and potentially fraudulent calls.  Seriously, the only calls I receive now are from people I want to talk to.

Create a virtual

My friend Kathy reads the newspaper, so that’s how I get my news.  My mother used to put clippings on my bed so it’s sweet that Kathy will find things she thinks HWaT readers might want to know. is a virtual clearinghouse with over one million recipes creating a search engine from hundreds of cookbooks.  Once you sign up (which looks like the basic level is free), you add the cookbooks you own and your recipe index is created.  You can also add magazine subscriptions and create shopping lists from recipes.  Interesting concept.  Have any of you tried this?

It’s a good practice to go through your cookbooks periodically to cull the books you don’t really use anymore.  If I bring a new cookbook into my library, one book must go.  You can also scan copies of the few recipes you like, then donate the cookbook.  We have a “Friends of the Library” retail store in our community that will take all kinds of gently used books, sell them, and use the proceeds to purchase new books and software for the public libraries.  Community Centers also need books of all kinds for their literacy programs.

Stay tuned the next “Easy Three” for organizing.